About FACE

Welcome to the world of FlowWorks' Advanced Calculation Engine, also known as F.A.C.E.

FACE empowers users with data manipulation tools, allowing them to create and define new datasets from incoming raw Channels, using advanced math, statistics and logic equations. Now users can create, edit, delete and combine data channels with powerful mathematical functions for sophisticated real-time analysis.

Included in FACE:

  • All the standard mathematical functions needed to combine and manipulate values across all Sites and Channels
  • Tools to define lookup tables for weirs, flumes, pipe cross-sectional areas and other physical constraints and map them to data channels
  • Conditional logic statements (IF / THEN / ELSE) to branch your calculations to other levels of complexity as needed
  • Tools to create rolling averages and sums, and set up sophisticated alarm rules based on those values to monitor specific events across multiple stations
  • Functions to create true time-weighted averages of irregularly spaced data
  • Tools to turn irregularly spaced time-series data into clean, continuous datasets of 5-minute, hourly, daily, or any other Calculated interval
  • Advanced rainfall conversion functions to turn ANY rainfall data type (cumulative, event-based, time-interval) directly into 5-minute, hourly, daily, or other rainfall interval desired.
  • Tools to move data forward or backward in time to compare it with previously collected datasets
  • The ability to define constants, apply linearly varying offsets, and much more

Introducing the Calculated Channel

It is important that FlowWorks does not support modifications to data originating from Raw Channels, for the necessity of maintain a working backup of raw data that can be easily referenced. Thus, using FACE, users create a new Calculated Channel that consistently copies-in data from the original Channel and applies a desired conversion function or formula. The resultant data in the Calculated Channel can be used in any for any form of analysis in lieu of the original Channel, thus leaving the original Channel untouched in case a back-up is ever needed. Just as with Raw Channels, Calculated Channels can be used in all FlowWorks tools, including Graphing, Reporting, Monitoring & Alarming.

Calculated Channels are indicated in the Channel selection list of a Site by the little 'fx' in the lower right coner of the icon:

Note: Creating a new Calculated Channel is always the first step in the process of configuring a new FACE formula or function. You will find that in many of the step-by-step instructions, you are asked to first review the topic on creating a Calculated Channel before proceeding.

Please see "Raw Data Channel vs. Calculated Data Channel" for a brief comparison of the two channel-types.

To learn how to create a new Calculated Channel, see topic "Creating a Calculated Channel".

Some Examples of FACE in Action

This section describes some examples of FACE in use, however this discussion only scratches the surface for what it can do for you.

Create simple and advanced calculations

The power of FACE is harnessed via the functions and seemingly countless formulas that can be applied to data. By way of a Calculated Channel, FACE can mathematically manipulate data from another Channel (raw data Channel or another Calculated Channel) in real-time, and output virtual data. Whether you want to simply average a week's worth of rainfall statistics; or apply a complex custom formula, FACE can do it all.


The Formula feature allows you to define an equation using basic math, conditional statements and comparisons, as well as trigonometric formulas, and apply it to each individual row of data from the source Channel.

To learn more about about FACE's custom Formula option, see topic, "About Face Formula".


FACE also boasts a host of predefined mathematical functions that be applied to each individual row of data from the source Channel. For example , you can use the Interpolate function to create 5-minute interval data from 15-minute intervals for a Level Channel, so that you can properly use the data in I & I analysis.

To learn more about each of the Functions available in FACE, please see topic, "About FACE Functions".

FACE and Calculated Channels can act as if you have additional field instruments

For example: if your field instruments provide Velocity and Depth data but not Flow, you can define a Calculated Channel for that Site, which combines the velocity and depth using the Circle operator to create virtual “Flow” data. You can graph, report, and even set alarms on this data just as if it were a Channel of data reported by your logger.

Another example: in this case, imagine you have two pipes carrying storm water and they feed into a third pipe. You have instruments recording the flow in the third pipe and one of the feed pipes, but you need to know how much flow is contributed by the second pipe. Rather than deploying another data logger out into the field, you can create a new Calculated Channel and apply a mathematical Formula that subtracts the two flow values to create virtual flow data for the second pipe. This data can be used in any of FlowWorks' tools, including Graphing and Reporting. To find out how this example can be achieved, see topic, "Formula Example: Creating a Phantom Site with Data from More Than One Site".

Convert Measurement Units of a Channel

As an example: you may find that an instrument in the field is relaying data in Imperial Units while you need the data in Metric. You could send a tech out to change the units the instrument is reporting in, so long as the instrument is able to be configured accordingly. However, you will have a stream of data that suddenly changed from one measurement standard to another. Also, deploying a field technician can be time consuming and costly. Instead, you can use FACE to create a Calculated Channel that applies a conversion formula to the incoming data. The benefit of this is that all of your previous data will be instantly converted, and any new data will be automatically changed to the correct units. You lose absolutely no data in the process - your raw data remains in the source Channel and is easy to reference at any point in time, while your Calculated data can be used in lieu of the source Channel for reporting, graphing, and with any tools available in FlowWorks.

To find out how to use FACE to create and configure a Calculated Channel for unit conversion, see topic, "Formula Example: Converting Measurements Units of a Channel".

Change the Time Interval of a Channel

For many analysis tools inside and outside of FlowWorks, it is required that data be logged every so often, in a fixed time interval that is consistent across all data being used in the study. For example, If your flow data was logged every 15-minutes but you need values for every 5-minutes, it can be a daunting task to use Excel to break-up the data. Instead, you can use FACE's Interpolate function to create a fixed interval time series by linearly interpolating between the values of the source Channel. Using Interpolate, you can create virtual flow data that is in smaller time intervals, based off the source channel's flow data.

To find out how to use FACE to create and configure a Calculated Channel for interpolation, see topic, "Function Example: Using Interpolate to Change the Time Interval of a Channel".

Override the Original Name of a Channel

One of the greatest advantages to using FlowWorks is its ability to view, manage, and analyze your infrastructure as if it were one homogeneous network – no matter the variety of hardware manufacturers within your network.

With that said, one of the most common problems users find is making sense out of the self-identification capabilities of each logger that is out in the field. Some devices are fully programmable and permit your data to arrive with a label that makes sense to you; others are less programmable and strictly insist on utilizing its serial number for identification.

With FACE, you can push this problem into the background by way of creating a Display Site name that is visible within FlowWorks. This consists of first copying the data from the original Channel with the convolted name, to a Virtual Channel that is configured with a more legible name. Using the Virtual Channel in FlowWorks' tools, in lieu of the source Channel, makes it easier for you and your audience to decipher Channels in Graphs, reports, maps, etc.

To find out how to use FACE to copy data over to a Virtual Channel that has a desirable name, see topic, "Formula Example: Making a Copy of a Channel".

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.